University of Florida to build ag research AI hub

University of Florida to build ag research AI hub

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University of Florida to build ag research AI hub

To research using artificial intelligence in agriculture, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) announced an investment of nearly  $20 million to build a new Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence in Hillsborough County. 

The 34,000 square-foot facility will include housing for 32 graduate students and offices, meeting and research space equipped to design and build robotic technologies for agriculture.

Robert Gilbert, dean for research at UF/IFAS, indicates that the facility would be part of an effort to establish UF/IFAS as a recognized leader in applying artificial intelligence for agriculture. 

He adds that the facility and its faculty will develop robotics, precision agriculture and plant breeding programs that will accelerate agricultural technologies for the strawberry and tomato industries in the region and the breadth of Florida’s agricultural enterprises.

In recent years UF has made a consistent effort to include artificial intelligence as part of its curriculum, “across disciplines to make it a core competency for students,” the institution said in a January 2023 release.  

“The AI Across the Curriculum initiative being developed at UF will make AI education a cornerstone opportunity for all students,” said the authors in the abstract of a paper published in Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence. “The ultimate goal of AI across the curriculum is the creation of an AI-ready workforce covering the essential 21st-century competencies identified as workforce and government needs worldwide.”

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